Power Trip

A controversial, thought-provoking short film has been lighting up the interwebs. “Oppressed Majority” takes place in an alternate reality where the People’s Action Party are side-lined from the national conversation, denied the right to voice their opinions and endure daily rubbishing in the press. “It came from my experience as a Singaporean over the past 49 years,” wrote the filmmaker behind it. “And from the incredulity of foreigners when I told them about the comments and behavior of the people in power here.”

The first clue that something is not quite right in the topsy-turvy world we see on screen comes when a PAP MP tries excitedly to buy a car, only to discover he can’t afford it. In another moving scene a group of bright-eyed young PAPers get together to contest a local election, and suddenly find their constituency boundary extends only as a far as a two-meter circle around the incumbent official. Later, frustrated by the lack of channels open to them, they launch a flashy website, but quickly learn the site is blocked, their EZ-Link cards are cancelled and three of their number have been jailed for overdue gym membership fees.

Viewers of the film were divided. Facebook user Lollllllz said she “enjoyed this shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist” (she later clarified that she had simply been quoting the opening scene of Knight Rider). Others felt the film went too far in its treatment of the role-reversal, with the failure of any of the other characters in the film to say anything singled out for special criticism. “No way people would just stand by and pretend like nothing’s happening!!!” tweeted @Lollllllz.

Having first denied the film’s existence, the Government were forced to respond when it hit 1m views on Vimeo (which, for entirely unrelated reasons, was blocked at around the same time). A spokesperson said, “We encourage all citizens to refrain from thinking too hard about what they see online. Please stick to watching dancing babies on our preferred platform provider YouTube and let us worry about the rest.”